Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Sweet Granpere

Me with Granpere

My sweet grandpa, whom we always called Granpere finished his race on this earth Thursday evening and earned his reward in heaven.  I like to think that my grandmother, his brother, sister, and parents were there to meet him.  I know he is in a place now where there is no pain, no suffering, no Alzheimer's, surrounded by loved ones, and that definitely eases the pain in my heart.  It doesn't stop the tears from flowing (and they have been flowing), but it does help them to stop sooner than if I didn't believe in God and the place he has prepared for us to go from this earthly life, then there would be no peace or comfort.  I prayed for him to get better, to have comfort and not have to be scared by what Alzheimer's was doing to him, and to know most of all how much my family and I loved him.  My prayers were answered because he did get better, he went to heaven.  He no longer has to live in his tiny, frail body that caused him pain to move at the end, but is able to walk the streets of gold for eternity.
     Casey, my Dad, and I were supposed to go see him Saturday, but Thursday early evening, my Dad got a call from my aunt that he'd better come now.  My parents and my sister loaded up the car and called me on their way (who was working late at my office downtown).  I wasn't prepared for that phone call, or in my case phone calls, but I'm not sure you can ever be fully prepared.  I was in my boss's office when the calls were made, so I knew something was up when I returned to my desk to a missed call and voice mails from both parents and Casey had tried to call 4 times.  I didn't know what to do, they had just left Katy and offered to come get me, but I still had work that needed to be done, and catch a bus ride out to my side of town to get my vehicle.  It's another one of those decisions where you don't know what to do, but you have to decide quickly (leaving work was an easy choice).  They weren't sure if they would make it in time either.  I told them to go on because I didn't want them to be waiting on me and take away from the precious time with this sweet man.  I didn't know if Casey could come with work, but thankfully my incredible husband didn't hesitate to offer to drive me 3 hours at night to see my last living grandparent.  (Btw, I have made his shoulders my permanent Kleenex for life now)
   Granpere passed away before Casey and I were able to make it to Waco, but I'll always be glad that my parents, Andrea, and my Aunt Mimi were there with him.  My parents and sister barely made it time they said when they greeted us at the entrance to his nursing home, but my Aunt Mimi told him we were coming.  I'll always think that he held on till he could see my Dad one more time and know that I was trying to get there to see him.  I was sad at first that we weren't there, but once we went in to see him,  I was so glad he didn't wait for Casey and I.  I was at peace knowing the last time I saw him we gave each a hug, I kissed his cheek, and told him that I loved him.  There's not much of a better way to leave things is there?
     My grandfather was a great man.   See, he was very proud of his Louisiana Cajun heritage and the french word for grandfather is "grand-père", which ended up being pronounced "gran-pear".  How I loved him so much.  To me, he was pretty much one of the sweetest and kindest old man there was and  oh, how he loved his family.  My grandmother and him raised my father and his sister in a way you can't do nothing but admire in my opinion.  I look at back at how my Dad parented me over the years and see the continuation of how Granpere parented my father.  The importance of doing what's right and standing up for it, carrying out your commitments, helping those in need, loving your family, and so on.  I seriously could go on forever about how wonderful he was.
     I think back on the MANY memories I had with him.  I remember when he came to the emergency room at Memorial City hospital to see me when I broke my arm, how he would come to any school or Girl Scout cermonies, the sleepovers we had at his house after my grandmother passed away (which always involved going to Blockbuster to rent movies and Shipley's donuts), feeding the ducks at his old office, going to the rock & gem shows they had each year at the George R. Brown (Granpere was a geologist and LOVED rocks), and seeing me graduate from high school and Texas A&M.  I remember the times we laughed, such as the time he gave my Dad money to get a hair cut because he thought it was too long.  My love of banana Laffy Taffy came from Granpere because he had a jar of them at his house frequently when we would go visit his house growing up.  His refrigerator was usually stocked with some Yoo-hoo's, which my sister and I loved too!  I lost count on how many times we would go to the Dairy Queen by his house to get a dipped cone!
     Granpere's memory was never good, he'd forget birthdays and other important dates unless you reminded him.  When I was away at college, Andrea would talk to him when my Dad called to check on him, and I guess he thought that by talking to her it meant it was close to her birthday, so Andrea got several birthday cards with money.  Not that I wanted money from grandfather, it just amazed me how he never remembered that our birthdays were 6 days apart, but hey it made me laugh, so perhaps that was the purpose of it. I've always felt that Granpere and my sister Andrea had a special relationship different than my own with him or his other granddaughters.  With both of them having memory issues, it just warmed your heart to see them go back and forth with each other saying the same things, and never grow tired of it.
    Our separation is only temporary, how great is that?!  Knowing that I'll see him again one day and then we'll never be separated again is so comforting.  He may be gone now, but I'll have the memories forever and my love for him will never cease.  Thank you Granpere for loving me and showing me how to do that to others, to be kind and sweet, and always be there for others.  I miss watching you laugh, saying "hey babe" when you saw me, your wonderful heart, and so many other things.  I'm glad you're home now, and I'll see you again one day.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing"     2 Timothy 4:7-8

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Holidays

Wow, it's 2013!  Seriously?! Casey and I have been married 8 months.  Seriously, where has the time gone?    I don't know where it went, I just know it went by very quickly.  The holidays at the Hixon house were wonderful!  It was first Christmas as husband and wife, and I would say it was a major success!  We stayed in town for Christmas, driving a few places between Houston and Katy to make sure we spent as much time with family as we could.  We celebrated Christmas with Casey's family the Saturday before Christmas because we thought his youngest brother was on call for his job as a nurse anesthetist in Corpus, but they decided to wait to tell him until Friday afternoon of that weekend that he had it off.  Oh well, we still had a lovely Christmas meal together and enjoyed opening presents from each other.  Along with my wonderful husband, he has an incredibly loving family that you can't help fall in love with too.  Probably one of my favorite gifts was an ornament my mother in-law gave me that had a picture of our house painted on it and on the back side had our names, "Our First Home", the year we bought our house, and our address.  Isn't that so creative and thoughtful?!  I LOVE IT!

No holiday is complete until we take a picture in front of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Eve afternoon, we went over to my Uncle John and Aunt Regina's house to get together with my mom's side of the family! We draw names for this celebration and since my cousin Ryan had me and my Uncle John drew Casey's name, they both went in together to get us yard tools.  Thanks to them we are now the proud owners of a couple shovels, a rake, and hoe.  Way easier to do yard work when you have the proper tools!  After a few hours of snacking and opening presents, we were on to our next stop, which was Casey's parent's house for lasagna and banana splits. So much yummy food, I can only imagine how calories I consumed!  
  Next stop was back to our house for the night.  Every single Christmas until this year I had woken up at my parent's house, so I thought it might feel a little different not doing that for the first time, but I must say I enjoyed waking up next to my husband and spending the morning with him.  Being our first Christmas together in the same house, we tried to come up with some traditions we could start together.  We already went to a Christmas tree farm to get a tree (here is the link in cased you missed reading it  I wanted us to have more than just one tradition.  Last year, Casey and I did an ornament exchange where we got each other an ornament we thought that represented the other.  I got him a Santa ornament in a sleigh that also had a fishing pole/fish on it since he loves to go fishing.  He bought me a beautiful angel ornament.  We decided to do that again this year.  It's fun to see what we get each other.  This year I got Casey a squirrel ornament since has developed quite an obsession with killing squirrels this year.  Very fitting I thought and he enjoyed it too.  Casey got me a "Gone with the Wind" ornament, and though I do love that classic movie where my mother received her name, his primary purpose in getting it for me was because the name of the ornament was "Scarlett has met her Match" and I had met mine. The boy can be very sweet and thoughtful!  I was definitely impressed!  All I ask is that he puts thought and effort into what he gives me, so it doesn't have to be expensive.  He has yet to give me something I don't like!  We also read the story together of Jesus's birth, which I thought would be good to remind us what Christmas is supposed to be about.
  For gifts I gave Casey a sand blaster he had requested and he gave me 5 gift cards to 5 of my favorite places: Whataburger, Yogurt Cup (a frozen yogurt place by our house we love to visit), Wings N' More, a mani/pedi at a nail salon, and a massage!  Boy did FANTASTIC!
Casey with his squirrel ornament
The proud owner of a sand blaster on Christmas morning
S'more ingredients for my fire pit
I got Christmas Eve from one of my brother in-laws
Christmas morning was nice, and then it was onto my parent's house to do lunch and gifts there!  My mom made my grandmother's dressing which is so tasty and makes me think of her even more along with delicious sweet potato casserole, honey baked ham, turkey, green bean casserole, and many other yummy dishes.
Here are some pixs from the afternoon:
Duck Dynasty T-Shirts!  We are hap-pay, hap-pay,
hap-pay people!

Who doesn't need a pooping reindeer?

Pretty new shirt Andrea got

Casey is beyond thrilled I have another
pair of shoes for our closet!

U of H BBQ spatula.  He LOVED it!

Giving money in an envelope is a dead give away for what's inside,
 so I wrapped it around a can of green beans to keep the
girl guessing what it was!  

This boy loves watching movies!!

His other Aggie hat has seen better
days,so my Mom got him a new
one and the old one has been retired.

My Mom enjoying some new clothes!

Christmas Day 2012
Thankfully Casey and I had the whole week of Christmas off and didn't have to go to work till Jan. 2nd!  That Saturday, we packed up the SUV and were off to Marble Falls to stay with Casey's grandfather.  Casey's cousin Misty and her husband Raoul happened to be visiting then too, so the 5 of us enjoyed spending a few days together.  We didn't do much, which was nice to finally be able to do that.  Sunday, Casey and I drove to Fredericksburg to eat at a restaurant where his cousin Cory is a manager.  Must say the food was wonderful, so if you're ever in that area be sure to eat at The Auslander.  Managed to stay up till midnight and start off 2013 together.  New Year's Day involved sleeping in late and then driving back to Houston.  I'll leave you with our New Year's picture and hope that you had a lovely holiday season with your friends and loved ones.  Until the next post...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men." John 1:1-4

Friday, January 4, 2013

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year's E-Card

     So in our mail, we have received several adorablely cute Christmas cards!  First of all, thank you for sending them!  I LOVE getting sweet things like this in the mail, definitely way better than the bills that always seem to make their way to us.  They made the outside of our refrigerator where I placed them look so festive!!  I didn't have any wedding photos back from my photographer yet and I hadn't been proactive enough to get a nice picture taken of us, so I am taking the more cheaper creative route and doing an e-card from us!  We are such a technology age, so why not capitalize on that even more?  Seriously, between being swamped at work, Christmas shopping, and Christmas parties I ran out of time!  Story of everything right?!  Next year, I'm going to prepare better to do this, so be ready to get something in the mail that will make you go "Awww..."
Merry Christmas from the Hixon's
Perhaps my train of thought is if I did a New Year's Eve card too, it might not seem so tacky, but probably it just makes it double the tackiness!  Here's our New Year's Eve e-card nonetheless:
YAY! We made it to midnight!  Happy New Year's!!

Hope you enjoyed our cards this year!!  Maybe next year there will be an actual card rather than looking at it on a computer screen:)  We had a lovely first holiday together as married folks, and more about that in my next post...

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30